We here at Haute Talk have been crushing on animals recently, and that theme has now made its way to this week’s Etsy Wednesday. Fall is round the corner, which means winter, with its mind-numbing cold, lost gloves and dark, monochromatic heavy coats, isn’t far behind. You know what’d cheer that black wool coat right up? A brooch! Before you dismiss the idea as an accessory crutch for middle-aged women, consider this: necklaces are difficult to show off in winter (because of multiple layers); you’ll lose any earrings without posts (because of bulky scarves); and let’s face it, funky pins are in. Read on for this week’s picks: animal-inspired brooches on Etsy!

Piece #1: You Peacock My World

Peacock Polymer Clay Brooches on Etsy

I admit it: the colors got me. There’s nothing so cheery as the combination of blue, orange and green. The vividness of this brooch aside, I love the cascade of the feathers, which gives the brooch a proper shape, and will help you position it on your coat/sweater. And at $20, you’d better buy it before I do!


  • Bird is made out of polymer clay
  • Brooch measures 2.4” x 1.4”

Buy online at etsy.com

Piece #2: Hippity-Hoppity

Silk Ribbon Wrapped Frog Brooches on Etsy

Sure, they’re a bit slimy, they prefer damp environments, and have been reviled throughout literature as ugly/unlucky/worth kissing only if they have handsome prince potential. But frogs, especially multicolored ones, made with silk ribbon, metallic threads, glass beads from different countries, are a great way to add whimsy to an otherwise staid winter outfit.


  • Each frog is wrapped with 3 yards of Mokuba silk ribbon wrapped; this ribbon is made of Azlon, which has the same properties of drape and texture of silk, but has a tighter weave
  • Ribbon is color-fast and does not fade
  • Other materials: metallic threads; delica, Japanese, Czech and bugle glass beads
  • Hand-washable in cold water
  • Measures 1.5” x 2.5” wide, 1.5” x 2” from head to tail

Buy online at etsy.com

Piece #3: Quail-ified For Sartorial Success

Quail Brooches on Etsy

You don’t need to approve of/like/have any knowledge of hunting to appreciate this detailed quail brooch. Its several components dangle from one pin, which allows for movement and dimension. And the different elements are lovely: a silver dragonfly, a cluster of rhinestones, and a colorful pendant with a picture of a quail. Affix to a shawl and a-hunting you shall go (not for deer – maybe some cider?)!


  • Brooch measures 2.25” x 2.5″
  • Pendant image is protected with a resin-like dome

Buy online at etsy.com

Piece #4: E for Elephant, F for Fierce, G for Graceful

Elephant Shaped Brooches on Etsy

The elephant is the king of the jungle; they’re respected not only for their size, but because they’re also generally very gentle creatures. (Watch out in a stampede, though.) I’m a little biased about this brooch, then, because the elephant is my favorite animal. It’s made of antique brass and is grooved beautifully.


  • Brooch is made with a silver ox brass elephant stamping, which sits on top of an antique brass bumpy setting
  • Base of this brooch is an antique bronze pin back setting
  • Diameter: 1″

Buy online at etsy.com

Piece #5: Black Swan Redux

Suede Black Bow Brooches on Etsy

I loved the film ‘Black Swan’: its masterful combination of suspense, high art, and psychological horror not only renewed my interest in ballet, but also created a healthy fear of swans (their physical appearance and temperaments could not be more different). I love this brooch because it has a multipurpose effect on your outfit: the black suede leather bow can add grace and sex appeal, while the swan pendant itself can be formal and subtle.


  • Black bow is made of suede leather
  • Original photograph is sealed under clear, oval, glass cabochons
  • Metal setting for image has an antiqued silver color.
  • Brooch measures approx. 2” long x 2.5” at the widest part of the bow.
  • Image is sealed with glaze on all sides

Buy online at etsy.com

Click here to see more from our Etsy Wednesday archives.

About Nandini Balial: I grew up in India, with an arty theatrical hippie mum who used to make her own jewelry, and vibrant patterns and materials – always on display at any relative’s wedding – quickly caught my attention.  Once I moved to Texas, I had to reconcile the ornate silks, mirrored scarves and silver hoops with glittery Coco Chanel earrings and Ralph Lauren polos. I’m still most comfortable in a vegetable/fruit-dye print cotton shirt and jeans, but my accessories will always vary. I proudly maintain that clothes are expensive and can’t always be mixed n’matched, but accessories are (on average) a bit cheaper, and can always move across your wardrobe (with/without irony). If you ever run across a fun accessory find, e-mail me with the details (and a photo, if possible), and I’ll try to include it in a future column.